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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: April ::
Re: How Shakespeare Invented History
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0731  Monday, 10 April 2000.

[1]     From:   Kevin De Ornellas <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Apr 2000 23:39:47 GMT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0713 Re: How Shakespeare Invented History

[2]     From:   Janet MacLellan <
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        Date:   Sunday, 9 Apr 2000 15:04:41 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0713 Re: How Shakespeare Invented History


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kevin De Ornellas <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Wednesday, 05 Apr 2000 23:39:47 GMT
Subject: 11.0713 Re: How Shakespeare Invented History
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0713 Re: How Shakespeare Invented History

>Just in case anybody's interested, I hear today that Richard II is totally
>sold out for
>the whole of its run in The Other Place.
>
>David Lindley

True, David.  I had to endure 'As You Like It' in the RST instead.

However, the good news is that some tickets remain available for the
London Almeida's greatly hyped 'Richard II'.  This show (together with
'Coriolanus'), will be presented at the old Gainsborough Film Studio in
Shoreditch; it is to be directed by Jonathan Kent, with Ralph Fiennes
taking the eponymous lead.

See www.almeida.co.uk/shakespeares.html

Kevin De Ornellas B.A., M.A.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Janet MacLellan <
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Date:           Sunday, 9 Apr 2000 15:04:41 -0500
Subject: 11.0713 Re: How Shakespeare Invented History
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0713 Re: How Shakespeare Invented History

Judith Matthews Craig objects to Adrian Noble's statement:

Any presentation of the plays in chronological rather than compositional
order provides a fascinating and politically provocative challenge. To
put it simply, the Shakespearean world we will be presenting will be a
progression to the past, an advance to barbarism.

She writes:

>I am afraid that I do not understand why viewing Richard II, is "an
>advance to barbarism" when, written later than plays depicting later and
>supposedly less barbaric times, it is described in the article in
>glowing terms as a "precise manicured text"

The original article, however, did not state that viewing Richard II
alone was an advance to barbarism. It stated that viewing the two
tetralogies in chronological order was an advance to barbarism: the
viewer begins with the highly stylized and ritualized R2, works through
the internal tensions of 1 and 2H4 to their (problematic) resolution in
H5, only to watch all that was gained fall away in 1, 2, and 3H6, as the
English lose their territories in France, set brother against brother in
the war over their own throne, and witness such disturbing instances of
social inversion as (gasp!) women taking command on the battlefield,
before all ends in the bloodbath of R3.

The plays written earlier (H6-R3) depict later times that are presented
as more rather than less barbaric. As a result, presenting the series in
chronological order (R2-H5, H6-R3) rather than in order of Shakespeare's
composition (H6-R3, R2-H5) "offers us," as the original article
concluded, "a chilling and timely challenge to [the] orthodoxy...that as
civilisation develops and culture becomes more sophisticated, then Man
becomes better and kindlier to Man."

Regards,
Janet MacLellan
University of Toronto
 

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